the Bahamas, like other places in the world, the security guard is
usually not the first option of a career for the individual filling that role. The
career of security guard is rarely seen at the top of the list when
teenagers are asked what they aspire to be.
resort thus makes the selection pool shallow to say the least.
On the other end of the spectrum you find that many of these roles are
filled with retired or former police officers.
persons are usually, for the most part, very reactive in their approach
to security, resulting from years of training as police officers.
are usually a grim reminder that policing and security are similar
professions but very different in their attempt to reduce loss. In fact
policing is concerned more with recovery of loss or the discovery of
causation factors whereas security focus is on retention and prevention
entering many businesses today the first and last person we see is the
security officer, thus like it or not, the security person is the first
and last impression of your organization. For many organizations like
major retail stores, high traffic locations, banks and other high cash
environments this is a must, if only to give the impression of a safe
place to do business. Unfortunately the appearance alone if gone
be very detrimental to the reputation of
your business. What are you doing to ensure that this person is a true
representative of what your company is trying to portray? What demands
have you placed on the guard company's management to ensure that a
quality officer is sent to man your property, staff, information and
importantly your reputation?
What I will provide for you is what I believe to be key performance indicators that will assist
you in adequate assessing what you have in the first instance, and
secondly develop training to get the best bang for your buck. These are
Inspections and Reviews
us begin with emergency response, as this indicator is where security
duties become those of law enforcement and the guard is now trying to
prevent further or continued loss to your investment. This can range
form fire, medical /safety or criminal response, all of which are
emergencies but indicate that security has not done proper inspections
You may think it very harsh to place the
occurrence of emergency events on the security guard, but if you think
about it that’s what they were hired for - to prevent these events from
happening. This occurrence means that security has failed.
and review would be the indicator, as the guard on the ground is
your eyes and ears providing real-time monitoring of your assets. The guard
should regularly be reporting to you the condition of each asset. Thus
security must be seen and used as a management tool to ensure the
smooth running of operation and timely deterrence of disruptive events.
idea of reporting brings us to the need for proper communication. If
there is lacking in this area then the entire function of loss
prevention is at risk. I have on numerous occasions encountered
security personnel with poor communication skills, who as a result amplify already tense
and hostile situations. Further, their inability to write effective
reports delay and hamper the investigative work of the police. I am
sure you can relate to those occasions when for whatever reason the
security guard at a company has had to fill in for the receptionist.
My last point speaks to another performance indicator that cannot be left
out, which is public relations. The entire premise of this article is
to ensure good representation of the company by the guard. Thus his / her
knowledge of your company is important. They should know who is the CEO, who has been
terminated, what company does the cleaning. This concept goes hand in
hand with customer service. If you have not had or insisted that your
guards be trained in good customer service then you are risking daily
embarrassment, and that could be expensive in the long run.
control is another key indicator that should be on your list, and this
means more than just who gets in and who is let out. Access control
speaks also to the movement of persons in and around your property
while they are there. This means can your security team account for all persons on
your property now and should they be where they are.
Finally, do you have enough security resources in place to execute the task at a hand?
management function ends with you but is initiated by the guard who via
the indicators listed above helps to give you a clear picture of what
is going on. These give you a better framework to develop evaluations
that go beyond early arrival, by helping you better understand what
should be happening.
operation of security guards is not unique to the Bahamas and can be
seen all over the world. For those of us who have traveled to large
shopping malls, airports and amusement park we see these people doing
the same duties that any guard would perform here at home. For those of
you who are involved in managing this function for your company and use
guard services I hope this helps in educating you and making you a
better shopper. Additionally these indicators can be developed to assist in
creating job specific performance evaluations.
Newry is the President of Preventative Measures, a Loss Prevention and
Asset Protection Training and Consulting Company, specializing in
Policy and Procedure Development, Business Security Reviews and Audits,
& Emergency and Crisis Management. Comments can be sent to P.O. Box
N-3154 Nassau, Bahamas or, email email@example.com or visit us at www.preventativemeasures.net